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101  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ice Bucket Challenge...You all got nominated! on: August 29, 2014, 06:24:58 PM
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102  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Everything We Know Is Wrong on: August 29, 2014, 08:11:33 AM
A surprising programme from BBC Radio 4: Everything We Know Is Wrong (click on link to download/hear the programme)
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Written notes:
Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It's called the "decline effect" - and some findings even dwindle away to zero.

A highly influential paper by Dr John Ioannidis at Stanford University called "Why most published research findings are false" argues that fewer than half of scientific papers can be believed, and that the hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true. He even showed that of the 49 most highly cited medical papers, only 34 had been retested and of them 41 per cent had been convincingly shown to be wrong. And yet they were still being cited.

Again and again, researchers are finding the same things, whether it's with observational studies, or even the "gold standard" Randomised Controlled Studies, whether it's medicine or economics. Nobody bothers to try to replicate most studies, and when they do try, the majority of findings don't stack up. The awkward truth is that, taken as a whole, the scientific literature is full of falsehoods.

Jolyon Jenkins reports on the factors that lie behind this. How researchers who are obliged for career reasons to produce studies that have "impact"; of small teams who produce headline-grabbing studies that are too statistically underpowered to produce meaningful results; of the way that scientists are under pressure to spin their findings and pretend that things they discovered by chance are what they were looking for in the first place. It's not exactly fraud, but it's not completely honest either. And he reports on new initiatives to go through the literature systematically trying to reproduce published findings, and of the bitter and personalised battles that can occur as a result.

Producer/Presenter: Jolyon Jenkins.

103  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mystery of Death Valley's Sliding Rocks Solved on: August 28, 2014, 08:46:48 PM
Reminds me of the "discovery" of how the ancient Egyptians moved large stones across the desert sands. Pictures in tombs/temples depicted these stones being pulled along by men with ropes, with one person pouring a pitcher of what they thought was probably water just in front of the leading edge of the stone being pulled. Initially, this was thought to be a ceremonial act.
Pulling a heavy object across sand requires an awful lot of work to shift it even a little bit. However, when modern-day investigators got around to trying it out, they found that pouring water just in front of the leading edge of the stone being pulled changed the consistency of the sand and made it act as a kind of lubricant as the rock passed over it, considerably reducing the drag/friction. That principle could well be in action with these "moving rocks" also.
Empiric method. Innit great?
104  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: August 28, 2014, 10:08:27 AM
Deja vu the Lernaean Hydra.
105  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Monitor web page for changes (incl. login to the site) on: August 28, 2014, 10:00:42 AM
The Firefox add-on UpdateScanner is pretty useful for monitoring difficult-to-check websites. For quite a long time now I have used it to check a few special sites.
For example, I usually monitor websites via an RSS feed into the Bazqux RSS reader (a replacement for Google Reader), and that included Yahoo! Groups, but when Yahoo disabled access via RSS, I found UpdateScanner to be a very handy alternative.
You can set the frequency of scanning, and it can be set to pop up with a little window and a chime when a monitored site changes. When you go take a look-see at the changed site, any changed text on the page can be highlighted if you want.

Refer: Re: Firefox Extensions: Your favorite or most useful
106  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: August 27, 2014, 11:45:25 PM
Yes, I read about this and remain skeptical in the absence of solid proof, either way.
107  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Problem: "Unable to connect to the Synaptics Pointing Device Driver." - FIXED on: August 26, 2014, 07:03:04 PM
From my notes, copied here in the hope that it might save others a stack of time if/when they encounter this incredibly annoying problem with their Synaptics TouchPad, and need to find a fix for it.

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Below is a summary of the different driver versions and the fix I applied.

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108  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: IsoBuster Pro - Mini-Review on: August 25, 2014, 05:19:59 AM
UPDATE: 2014-08-25 2213hrs: IsoBuster v3.4 (2014-08-22).
Now gets 5 x Thmbsup from me.
There's been a progressive developmental upgrade path from the IsoBuster developers.
The latest changes are also impressive - see the spoiler below: (from http://www.isobuster.com/...obuster_3.4_release_notes)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks.)
109  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 22, 2014, 08:12:11 AM
@Stephen66515: That vid re Hitler's motorbike was the 1st Hitler parody I ever saw. Absolute classic.
110  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox Extensions: Your favorite or most useful on: August 21, 2014, 11:09:07 PM
Could be useful. As a result of reading the comment below, regarding a post at techsupportalert.com on Ghostery, I am now trialling Privacy Badger | EFF (It's in ß, for Firefox and Chrome):
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by famewolf on 20. August 2014 - 18:47  (118098)
I personally prefer Privacy Badger by the electronic frontier foundation (the name in privacy on the web in my opinion..they don't use your data for anything). https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

From their F.A.Q.:

What is Privacy Badger?

Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web. If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser. To the advertiser, it's like you suddenly disappeared.

How is Privacy Badger different to Disconnect, Adblock Plus, Ghostery, and other blocking extensions?

Privacy Badger was born out of our desire to be able to recommend a single extension that would automatically analyze and block any tracker or ad that violated the principle of user consent; which could function well without any settings, knowledge or configuration by the user; which is produced by an organization that is unambiguously working for its users rather than for advertisers; and which uses algorithmic methods to decide what is and isn't tracking.

Although we like Disconnect, Adblock Plus, Ghostery and similar products (in fact Privacy Badger is based on the ABP code!), none of them are exactly what we were looking for. In our testing, all of them required some custom configuration to block non-consensual trackers. Several of these extensions have business models that we weren't entirely comfortable with. And EFF hopes that by developing rigorous algorithmic and policy methods for detecting and preventing non-consensual tracking, we'll produce a codebase that could in fact be adopted by those other extensions, or by mainstream browsers, to give users maximal control over who does and doesn't get to know what they do online.
111  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Best keyword-powered program launchers for Windows: Find and Run Robot is on top on: August 21, 2014, 04:29:34 PM
...probably nothing we didn't already know...so how come ghacks are so behind the 8-ball? (mutter, mutter)
112  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: simple file (dll) searcher on: August 20, 2014, 07:44:53 PM
You might like to look at the Everything (FREE) search tool. It's very simple and straightforward, and fast. I use it all the time, for most of my file searches. (I use xplorer² and Windows Desktop Search when I'm not using Everything.)
Example screenshot:

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113  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 7 Best Tools To Print To PDF (From The Web) on: August 20, 2014, 06:13:46 PM
Is printing to PDF really an issue nowadays? I hadn't thought it was, and I don't see why "It’s kind of shocking that printing in Windows 8 doesn’t come with a PDF option...". The PDF (Portable Document Format) seems to have been an innovative and successful de facto - albeit arguably constipated - proprietary standard, created by Adobe to corner a market niche. A move that that has no doubt made them pots of money. I did think that, at one point, MS might have been attempting to dominate this niche, with their (rather good) proprietary MDI format, but that seems to have rather fizzled out. Mind you, I thought they had already won the war with their machinations in the XML battles - leading to the OpenDocument Text (.odt) format.
In my view, there is no big deal about printing to PDF, and, like @tomos, I use the excellent PDFCreator (have done for years) - when I want output in PDF from an application that does not natively support it. The latter point is important because many applications do natively support it. For example, in my $10 copy of Microsoft Office 2013, Word can not only open a PDF document as a pretty decent Word document for editing, but also it can save a document in PDF, with all sorts of useful options, as per the screenshot below:

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114  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: GTK+ and complexity (and OSS in general) on: August 20, 2014, 05:04:11 PM
^^  cheesy   Had to smile at that nice diagram. One can see what you mean. Because it looked like such a potentially nifty PIM (Personal Information Manager), I downloaded/installed Tomboy - gtk-sharp-2.12.8-1.win32.msi in 2009. I was amazed at the complexity of just that installation. I was later reminded of it by this Dilbert cartoon:

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With all its potential, and including that superb (possibly unique, so far) auto-hyperlinking of common/frequent references - redolent of Lotus Agenda - in the wiki notes, Tomboy doesn't clear many of the bars on the Comparison of notetaking software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For example, by comparison, MS OneNote goes right across the page in both the Features Comparison table and the Formatted text features, others table.
So yes, excessively complex and possibly high maintenance - just too much trouble - unless (say) you have some other purpose for making use of that topological nightmare.
115  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Please - Bring Back One-Click 'To Clipboard' Feature!!!! on: August 19, 2014, 01:19:09 AM
I'm not sure I understand the opening post.
As far as I am aware, image capture from screenshots is all sorted:
For full screen captures:
  • (a) If you press PrtSc (PrintScreen), then you get a screenshot image captured by the system (as per normal) and it is also held in the Clipboard,and
  • (b) if CHS (Clipboard Help & Spell) is running, then you also simultaneously get the image saved into the CHS database, and
  • (c) if SC (ScreenshotCaptor) is running, then you also simultaneously get the image saved to the default SC image capture folder, and when you open SC it presents that image ready for editing.
  • (d) if the SC Toolbar is up, then one click does a full screen capture per (c) (and (b) applies also).

For partial screen captures:
(i) if the SC Toolbar is up, then one click on the appropriate Toolbar button (or the relevant hotkey combo) takes care of it, and (b) and (c) above apply.
(ii) It gets even better if you are a OneNote user, because the OneNote capture tool sends clips straight to OneNote (and (b) also applies), where they are saved with metadata to a page in the default collection section, and any text in the image captured is OCRed and indexed for search and becomes metadata.

It all seems to be either one hotkey press (the relevant hotkey combo) or a single mouseclick, whichever way you look at it.
You can add intermediate steps to this if you want - e.g., if you (say) wanted to view a screen clip in SC before moving on - but I don't see how you could simplify it much further.
116  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: August 18, 2014, 03:44:15 AM
Interesting item in Hacker News from peerj.com. It's a link to a .PDF file.
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A surge of p-values between 0.040 and 0.049 in recent decades (but negative results are increasing rapidly too).

It is known that statistically significant results are more likely to be published than results that are not statistically significant.  However, it is unclear whether negative results are disappearing from papers, and whether there exists a ‘hierarchy of sciences’ with the social sciences publishing more positive results than the physical sciences.  Using Scopus, we conducted a search in the abstracts of papers published between 1990 and 2014, and calculated the percentage of papers reporting marginally positive results (i.e., p-values between 0.040 and 0.049) versus the percentage of papers reporting marginally negative results (i.e., p-values between 0.051 and 0.060).  The results indicate that negative results are not disappearing, but have actually become 4.3 times more prevalent since 1990.  Positive results, on the other hand, have become 13.9 times more prevalent since 1990.  We found no consistent support for a ‘hierarchy of sciences’.  However, we did find large differences in reporting practices between disciplines, with the reporting of p-values being 60.6 times more frequent in the biological sciences than in the physical sciences.  We argue that the observed longitudinal trends may be caused by negative factors, such as an increase of questionable research practices, but also by positive factors, such as an increasingly quantitative research focus. ...
117  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 18, 2014, 01:14:33 AM
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What happens when non-techies discover web dev tools.
ha!  Grin
There could well be a lot of those comments happening now, ever since Firefox started to use the hotkey combo Ctrl+Shift+V to pop up that window...
Ah, yeah. Anybody that fat-fingers a paste will have that happen now.  cheesy
Yup. Eggsaggerly. Ergonomics.
118  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 18, 2014, 01:11:56 AM
Lie-Clocks:
A man died and went to heaven.  As he stood in front of St.  Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.  He asked, "What are all those clocks?"
St.  Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock.  Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."
"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?" (Pointing.)
"That's Mother Teresa's.  The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie in her lifetime."
"Incredible!" said the man.
St. Peter went on, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock.  The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his lifetime."
The man asked "Where's [insert favourite US president's name]'s clock?"
St. Peter replied "His clock is in Jesus' office.  He's using it as a ceiling fan."
119  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 18, 2014, 01:05:41 AM
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What happens when non-techies discover web dev tools.
ha!  Grin
There could well be a lot of those comments happening now, ever since Firefox started to use the hotkey combo Ctrl+Shift+V to pop up that window...
120  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 18, 2014, 01:02:05 AM
GERMAN HEALTH AND SAFETY CHIEFS BAN SANDCASTLES AT BEACHES
Pfft... cowards. Still all paranoid since D-day I suppose. tongue
Ahahaha, very droll.
121  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What *Should* We Be Worried About? on: August 16, 2014, 07:15:09 PM
...There is such a right.
And it has been argued in some jurisdictions (and agreed to by certain US judges) that a refusal to speak to police officers may be construed as sufficient grounds for suspicion of wrongdoing that that (by itself) is justification for arresting someone.
On the topic of "remaining silent" look here and here.
______________________
Well, on the basis of that, silence seems to have been judged as a reasonable basis for cause for the police to arrest someone on suspicion, however that does not seem to indicate that it contributed to the proving of their guilt in any subsequent court of law.
122  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What *Should* We Be Worried About? on: August 16, 2014, 11:27:47 AM
I recall that in UK contract law, silence can not be taken as an acceptance of an invitation/offer to treat.
Are you suggesting that In US law silence may be taken as an admission/implication of guilt?     huh
Wasn't there a 5th amendment right to silence in the US Constitution, or something?
123  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What *Should* We Be Worried About? on: August 16, 2014, 03:16:02 AM
Looks like straightforward no BS reporting from the Vice crew: The Islamic State (Full Length)
I found it via Guido Fawkes:
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WATCH: The Islamic State
The best reporting of what has happened in Iraq and Syria over the last few months has not been in the papers or on television, but online. Vice are the only news organisation who have managed to embed a reporter with Islamic State (ISIS). Medyan Dairieh’s documentary from Raqqa is remarkable viewing and well worth a watch.
At approx 40 minutes it is quite long, but it is worth a watch.
Those IS (was ISIS) mujahadeen seem to be very committed - I guess similar to the Al Queda and Taliban.
This is from the YouTuble link:
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Vice crew: The Islamic State (Full Length)
Published on 14 Aug 2014

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

The Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced its intention to reestablish the caliphate and has declared its leader, the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph.

The lightning advances the Islamic State made across Syria and Iraq in June shocked the world. But it's not just the group's military victories that have garnered attention — it's also the pace with which its members have begun to carve out a viable state.

Flush with cash and US weapons seized during its advances in Iraq, the Islamic State's expansion shows no sign of slowing down. In the first week of August alone, Islamic State fighters have taken over new areas in northern Iraq, encroaching on Kurdish territory and sending Christians and other minorities fleeing as reports of massacres emerged.

VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews
Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews
124  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 15, 2014, 08:48:09 AM
News from the UK...
If Scotland gains its independence after the forthcoming referendum, the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the "Former United Kingdom" (FUK).

In a bid to discourage Scots from voting 'yes' in the referendum, the Government is planning a campaign with the slogan "Vote NO, for FUK's sake".

They feel that Scottish voters will be able to relate to this rather well.
125  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Everyone is brokenhearted. on: August 13, 2014, 05:11:15 PM
Not sure if media like the Telegraph should talk about that without any irony.
Not sure if media like the Telegraph should talk about that without any irony.
If it bleeds, it leads.
_______________________________

Oh absolutely. In fact, possibly not so much "irony" as hypocrisy, I would suggest, but that does not necessarily negate per se any valid points that might be made in the article.
I posted the link in here because of its relevance - it seemed to be another, better articulated and more in-depth view and reflection of my statement:
...Up to that point, I had been smiling a lot at the rant, but I draw the line at cynical attempts to gain access to my agreement by invoking such things.
_______________________________

If one does that in a time of war - i.e., cynically, for commercial purposes, makes capital out of the idea of, or invokes images of dismembered children's bodies - then one is arguably not "brokenhearted" but broken in spirit, because the potential externalities and societal implications are altogether disregarded by the perpetrator.
That would be similar to (say) the externality of waterways being polluted by a carpet manufacturer's effluent (e.g., an environmental "footprint"), with the difference being in the subtlety of the effects on the mostly unseen/intangible environment of human perception and limbic response.
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